The Realization

by Lorrie Schwan


What an awful morning! I could tell it was going to be an absolutely beautiful Santa Ana day. I could tell this, because the pressure difference on the first day of a Santa Ana always gave me a blinding headache. And a blinding headache is exactly what I woke up to. Duty calls, however, so I pulled myself out of bed, threw on some cloths and ran out the door. I arrived at work right on time as usual, started up the "infernal machine" to be greeted with the e-mail message "we need to talk". I'll tell you right now, this type of message is never good. I tried to think of what I could possibly be in trouble for but nothing immediate came to mind. I had been working pretty hard, putting in a few extra hours and things seemed to be going ok. I figured I would just have to stew about it for awhile since I was always the first person in the office. Sure enough two and a half hours later co-workers begin to arrive. Soon after that the boss arrives, so I ask if it is okay to talk, but the boss isn't ready yet. I guess I'll just have to stew about it for a while longer. Finally around two o'clock, the boss is ready and I get hit with the statement that I need to curb my visible frustration along with an accusation that I'm not pulling my weight. I could only stare in astonishment. I finally had to ask where this was coming from because I really didn't know. The answer I got was not satisfactory in my mind, but I guess somehow I must have placated her high holiness because she backed off and left it at "maybe its just my impression, I'll step back and re-evaluate". Oh goody. My concentration now being shot, I wrapped up a few things at the office, just passing time until I could leave. At last it was time to go, I hurried to my car as quickly as possible. Pulled open the door and smacked my head while getting in. It didn't much matter, I already had a headache anyway. I headed out of the parking lot and out onto road. I had a fairly long drive ahead of me, hopefully it would give me time to unwind before arriving home. About half way home in the middle of nowhere I began to hear a sound... thump thump thump... What now, I thought as I pulled over to the side of the road.

As I stood in the road contemplating my flat tire, I could only marvel at the fact that things couldn't possibly get any worse. First a lecture on professional deportment (the logic that I could only be myself seemed to escape all living beings except for me.) Then a flat tire just to make sure I understood the lesson that something in my life needed to change. There couldn't possibly be three things in this particular stroke of bad luck, I just didn't think I could take it.

I shuddered in the sudden silence of the afternoon afraid that if I moved I would find out what that third thing might be. Behind me a strange sound began to insist that I acknowledge it. I was frozen in place, I didn't want to know. The wind began to tug at my hair daring me to turn around and face what was coming. I turned. The clouds began to billow out of nowhere and the sky turned dark. The wind swirled faster and faster, it looked as if a hole was forming in the sky. The wind became so fierce that I had to close my eyes to keep the stinging bits of sand that were biting into my skin from blinding me.

Just when I thought I would not be able to stand the sand blasting any longer, the wind died as suddenly as it started. I opened my eyes to find the most beautiful man I had ever seen standing not two yards in front of me. I watched him as he looked around, studying everything around him. And then his eyes met mine. He looked completely normal, except for the eyes. The eyes were cold and alien. I could make no guess as to the thoughts going on behind those eyes. As I stared, frozen in place, he began to change. golden wings began to unfold from behind him his perfect form began to change into something I almost recognized. I reached out....

I awoke slowly, and rubbed the dark haze from my eyes. The desert air was cold today. It should have been daylight, but instead a black shadow hung in the air. Looking up, I saw that the sky was almost completely blacked out, crawling with thousands of swirling shapes. As I focused and my vision cleared, I could make out the unmistakable silhouettes, and my heart stopped... Dragons! In all my life I had seen only one, and that was a quick glimpse while exploring the cliffs as a child. I also remembered old legends and descriptions the Dragon, a fierce powerful creature who could appear suddenly in our reality, and with a single thought, bring death, life, order, or chaos. Dragons were rarely seen by people unless one of these events was about to take place. As I thought about this phenomenon, and now multiplied it by thousands, a hideously helpless feeling began to come over me. The dragons had now aligned, and were gliding together in a large circle overhead. Half in fear and half in awe I watched, as inside the circle, a huge dark rip began to open in the middle of the sky.

I searched wildly for the gold dragon I was sure must be nearby. How I longed to study him, to fly with him. There, poised ready to leap. I cried out for him to wait. I would swear I heard him laugh as he launched into the rent in the sky. As he passed through, the thousands of swirling shapes followed. The rip shrank and disappeared leaving me sitting in the desert sand staring up at what was now an empty clear blue sky. As I picked myself up off the ground I grimaced. Yep, there is just no such thing as the perfect man.